Chanel Couture: Can the New A-Line Gown Cut It in Hollywood?

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Karl Lagerfeld's fall collection invents the A-line shaped gown in various fabrications.

Chanel couture is one of the few couture collections that always makes it onto a red carpet -- as does Valentino, Versace, Armani Prive and now, with the new Dior collection by Raf Simons, Dior couture will likely become more ubiquitous, as Simons totally modernized what couture is all about.

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Karl Lagerfeld's Chanel couture for fall enveloped many of the new trends we're seeing this week -- color (pinks, greys, with black), print (pink and grey patchwork), 3D floral fabrics on sheers -- and of course, volume concentrated in certain areas, like at the shoulders, neck or hems. However, the ingenious Lagerfeld also showed a different sort of volume that looked very fresh: the slightly A-line gown.

We've for many seasons seen very slinky gowns, ballgowns with big full skirts, gowns with long sleeves and short sleeves and, more recently, gowns in prints and strong colors. But Chanel's A-line gown is tight to the body in the bodice, like a sheath -- it has no waist -- and flows strongly and softly into an A-line after the hips, with slits at the sides going not very far up the leg. The whole feeling is one of a Chinese traditional dress. Some of the gowns had fuller A-line or volume, some just slight -- but it was a very new feeling in shape. And it holds great hope for evening footwear, which won't be so visually constricted by narrow hems.

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The A-line Chanel couture gowns were done in various fabrications: a pale pink sheer fabric strewn and embellished throughout with fabric flowers, a molten silver metallic (very Hollywood appropriate), and a grey and black and pink textured striped gown, with uneven widths of stripe -- quite unusual and striking. Expect the whippet thinnest of celebs to show up in these. Lagerfeld muse Diane Kruger, in attendance with her beau Joshua Jackson, in a great baby blue fit 'n' flare dress, is a likely candidate, as are Sofia Coppola (also on hand), Alexa Chung (there as well) and Chanel fan Audrey Tatou.

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